"I will put my teaching in their minds and write it on their hearts..."
Jeremiah 31:33

March 31 - April 7, 2023

You can find brief descriptions of these weekly programs on our website:

SUNDAY Morning, 10 am Zoom Worship

https://zoom.us/j/97010988439 Password: betogether

SUNDAY , 11:30 a.m. Bible Study  in person and on zoom


***There WILL be Bible Study on Palm Sunday, but not on Easter Sunday**

MONDAY - FRIDAY, 8 am Morning Devotion


WEDNESDAY Eve., 6:30 pm Midweek Inhale Spiritual Practices


**NO Midweek Inhale 4/6 due to Alabaster Wednesday Service***

Happening This Week

Holy Week and Easter Schedule

All services will be in person and on Zoom with the usual Sunday link and password. https://zoom.us/j/97010988439 Password: betogether

Palm Sunday Worship

Sunday, April 2 at 10 am

(in person and on Zoom)


Password: betogether

It's also Birthday and Communion Sunday!

Ecojustice-Friendly Palms

With guidance from our Ecojustice team, our palms come from Catholic Supply of St Louis. Their supplier in Texas is fair trade, grows and harvests the palms with a focus on protecting the environment. The supplier works in partnership with The Texas Land Conservancy where 300 acres of permanent nature preserve are set aside and protected. The preserve is located within one of the poorest counties in the U.S. By purchasing from this supplier, MUCC is helping to support over 200 workers who are treated with dignity and receive fair wages.

Sunday Afternoon, April 2nd, 2:30 p.m.

A Chance To Hear Our Former MUCC Pastor Kerri Parker and Others Preach!

"Against Racism in the Body of Christ"

Join us for a very timely event on Sunday, April 2. The Revival Against Racism in the Body of Christ has two speakers: Revivalist minister, Wanda Smith and Rev. Kerri Parker! It will be at 2:30 PM in the S. S. Morris Community AME Church, 3511 Milwaukee Street, Madison. If you wish to carpool, we will leave from the MUCC at 1:40 PM. If you have questions, contact Martha Olsen 405-714-4002.

Tuesday, April 4⋅6:30 – 7:30pm

Racial Justice Team Meeting

The Racial Justice team works to bring awareness of racial justice issues and to make a difference by planning activities and inspiring change. We'll be discussing actions to take in response to our recent "Color of Comprise" series. We welcome anyone who has an interest in working towards racial justice. We meet the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the church as well as on Zoom. The Zoom link and password is the same used for Morning Worship:


(Usual Sunday Password)

Wednesday, April 5th, 6 p.m. Alabaster Wednesday Service in person and on zoom.

https://zoom.us/j/97010988439 Password: betogether

For a bit more about Alabaster Wednesday please read the "Few Words From Pastor Bryan" at the bottom of this newsletter. Please be aware that there will be an optional opportunity during this service to have a few drops of spikenard oil placed on your hand. People who are sensitive to or allergic to fragrances should be aware of this.

Thursday, April 6th, 6 p.m. Maundy Thursday Service in person and on zoom.

https://zoom.us/j/97010988439 Password: betogether

Maundy Thursday is the day on which we remember the last day and night of Jesus' life on earth. Through art, music, and the sacrament of Communion, we will accompany Jesus during the powerful events of that last night--the "last supper," his washing of the disciples' feet, the betrayal by Judas, the prayer and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the denial of Peter. Quite a night. Always a powerful service.

Friday, April 7th, 6:00 p.m. Good Friday Service in person and on zoom.

https://zoom.us/j/97010988439 Password: betogether

This is always a quiet and contemplative service. We'll meet by candlelight in the sanctuary. As we read Scripture about the crucifixion, we will extinguish the lights until they are all snuffed out. Then we will exit in silence and darkness. This is a brief service, but always powerful as we reflect on the death of Jesus on the cross.

Easter Flowers

Deadline Noon on Wed., April 5

We have placed our order for Easter plants to brighten our sanctuary on Easter Sunday morning, April 9. You have the opportunity to purchase one of the plants for your own enjoyment after Easter Sunday or to plant in your own garden. You may also consider honoring a loved one with your plant purchase.

Here are the plants available:

10 - Easter lilies ($17)

1 - Hydrangea ($33)

1 - Mums ($18)

1 - Hyacinth ($13)

You can sent your request by Noon on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 to Ginger at office@mcfarlanducc.org or sign up for a plant using Sign Up Genius on MUCC's website. Please include your name, what plant you want to purchase and the name of your loved one, if you are honoring someone with your plant purchase.

Payment for Easter plants can be check or cash (please include info that indicates that your contribution is for an Easter plant) or online (use General Fund, add a note to indicate your contribution is for an Easter Plant). Questions about payment can be addressed to Joan Jacobsen at treasurer@mcfarlanducc.org.

Sunday, April 9th, 9:15 a.m. Pre-worship Easter Fellowship

9:30 a.m. Easter Egg Hunt before Easter Sunday Worship!

Start your Easter Sunday morning with an opportunity for fellowship BEFORE worship service. We will be serving coffee cake, muffins, donuts, fresh fruit, juice and our usual coffee and tea starting about 9:15 am on Easter morning, April 9th. Plan to join us for conversation and refreshments as we gather for our Easter celebration.

About 9:30 am the annual Easter Egg Hunt will start as we send our young ones outside in search of Easter Eggs and treats.

Opportunities and Things Coming Up

SaLT Meeting Change

The SaLT meetings are now the second Thursday of each month (rather than the first Thursday). All are welcome to attend the next meeting in-person or via Zoom (usual Sunday link & password) on Thursday, April 13 at 6:00 pm.

Discussion with Author

Daniel Cooperrider about his book,

"Speak With the Earth and It Will Teach You"

MUCC has been invited to join Memorial UCC in Fitchburg in reading and discussing "Speak With the Earth and It Will Teach You" by Daniel Cooperrider, UCC pastor. His book offers an adventure through nature, with a call to care for creation, by considering The Bible from a different perspective than we may be used to doing. Meeting dates are yet to be determined but likely to start after Easter giving time to order the book and start the first section. We anticipate meeting outside in nature to discuss the book, first section by a river. Details on when and where coming soon.

Daniel will also be joining us April 23 for our Earth Day celebration Sunday service at MUCC so we will have a chance to meet him in person as well. 

A Few Words From Pastor Bryan

Our New Holy Week Sacred Day...

"Alabaster Wednesday"

It's hard to believe that Lent is just about over and that we are about to enter into Holy Week--the last week of Jesus's human life. I know that not too many of us will have the time or inclination in our busy lives to attend all of our midweek services, but if you do, I think you will be moved by the flow and depth of the week's events.

The mid-week services begin with "Alabaster Wednesday." If this holiday is unfamiliar to you, that is because we pretty much created it, and we came up with that name for it last year.

So What is Alabaster Wednesday?

I have been deeply touched by the writing of Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, and by her work regarding Mary Magdalene in particular. No one has brought the relationship between Mary and Jesus more alive for me than Dr. Bourgeault (with the possible exception of the musical, "Jesus Christ Superstar.")

The following is an excerpt from the liturgy we will share together next Wednesday.

Dr. Bourgeault has done extensive work on the life and witness of Mary Magdalene, and has been instrumental in reclaiming the crucial role Mary played in Jesus’s life and ministry. She and countless others believe it is time for the Church to reframe how we understand the events of Holy Week and the meaning of the crucifixion in particular.  Rather than seeing the cross as a symbol of the price that had to be paid in order for God to forgive the debt of human sin, Cynthia Bourgeault contends that Jesus’s death was an expression of extravagant and costly love, called forth by extravagant and unlimited love.  Its purpose was to reveal the intimate depths of God’s love for us—to demonstrate that God would do anything for us in order to show us how beloved and cherished we are.


In addition to Mary using spikenard from an alabaster jar to anoint Jesus during the final week of his life, the only other time this fragrant spice is mentioned in Scripture is in the Song of Solomon, or what is often called the “Song of Songs” in the Hebrew Scriptures.  This book is primarily a conversation between two lovers, and people have often not known quite what to with the fact that it gets downright erotic at times. Usually it is suggested that the intimate language is a metaphor for the love between God and humankind.  Dr. Bourgeault and others suggest that the heart of Holy Week is an outpouring of love between two people who would do anything for each other, and who, when it comes time to have to say good-bye, do so with deep anguish and unspeakable tenderness and devotion.  There is nothing essentially heteronormative about any of this.  It’s about the beauty of passionately dedicated love or what is sometimes referred to as the “mystical marriage.”  

In addition to the love between Mary and Jesus, Alabaster Wednesday is also an attempt to bring the role of Mary and the Divine Feminine into center stage in the drama of Holy Week. When Jesus was anointed before his death in the Gospel of John, the male disciples complain that it was a waste of this expense ointment. They suggest it would have been better to have sold the ointment and given the money to the poor. Jesus strongly rebukes them, affirms the gift of her deep love, says she alone has understood what he is facing, and then proclaims that "wherever the Gospel is proclaimed, she will be remembered."

Unfortunately, the Church throughout history has not been able or willing to fully "remember" and honor Mary or women, or the Divine Feminine. Thankfully this is beginning to change. Toward the end of his new book, Rethinking Life, author and activist Shane Claiborne shares a "letter to the Church" written by his friend Carols Rodrigues. The letter simply says,

Dear Church,

Jesus believed women.

Protected women.

Empowered women.

Honored women publicly.

Released the voice of women.

Confided in women.

Was funded by women.

Celebrated women by name.

Learned from women.

Respected women.

And spoke of women as examples to follow.

Your turn.

Well I hope and pray some of you will join us next Wednesday either in person or by zoom. But beyond that, I'm so grateful to be pastor of a church in which we can bring things like this into being, and for all the ways we welcome, honor, and cherish not only women, but the feminine energy and Divine Feminine in us all and for us all.

Hope to see you Sunday, and a bunch of times next week!

Pastor Bryan

NOTE: We will use a bit of spikenard in the service on Wednesday. Just a warning to any of you who might have extreme sensitivity to fragrances.

5710 Anthony St.
McFarland WI 53558
Pastor Bryan Sirchio
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